Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Perils and Pitfalls Behind a Prologue

With this being “National Start Your Business Month”, I thought this would be a perfect topic to write a blog about. Since I started my publishing company, EVapor ENT over two years ago, I have a bit of insight into the arduous task of running an organization and the perils that come along with it.

One of the pitfalls to be aware of: who you decide to give money to. When it comes to running a business, in my short period of time as a CEO, I know one thing for certain: you cannot do everything on your own. Even if you could run every facet of your business single handedly, I would not recommend it. There is just not enough time in the day and as I have found out over the years, time is not money; time is more precious than that, more valuable than just equating it to simple monetary value. Therefore, be careful of who you decide to work with. Since I am an independent author/publisher, I have to decide who is going to edit my book, who is going to do the binding, the advertisement, the cover, the distribution, everything. Before I decided to go into this business, I had no idea how difficult it would be. I had no clue as to the sheer amount of competition there is in the publishing world. With all of this competition comes the chance for people to make a lot of money and also for people to take advantage of you and scam you out of your hard earned money.

Here is my tale of caution: I had finished writing my second novel, “Winter’s Legacy” and contacted my editor. She was a freelance editor who I found online. I had previously worked with her on my first novel, “Heaven’s Fate” and even hired her for some short stories and I never had any issues. Now what should have alerted me not to go forward with this person is the fact that when I contacted her to let her know that I was ready to go forward with the editing process, we exchanged a few emails and then I didn’t hear back from her for a long period of time, at least a few weeks. So then, when she finally gets back in touch with me and we start the process I sent the first payment installment. We set up the terms of the arrangement which were similar to the times I worked with her in the past. After a few weeks I sent an email to check up on the status of the project, just to see how far she had gotten, I get no response. This continues for months, of me sending out emails and asking for status updates and getting no response. Needless to say, I haven’t heard from her since and it has been seven months. This experience upset me mightily, pushed back my release deadline and quite frankly made me skeptical about dealing with future freelance professionals. In the end, I decided to not let that experience deter me and I have found another editor. The project is moving forward and my second novel is due to be released in April.

So with all of that being said, please let my tale be a lesson to all of you new business owners out there; find trustworthy people to work with and don’t let obstacles deter you from your goal. Nothing in business will go as smooth as you have planned but these are only tests of your resolve. So stay strong and keep moving forward and remember that nothing worth having is ever easy. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Book Review - STEELHEART By Brandon Sanderson

If I had to sum up this book in one word, it would be: gripping. However, that one word would not do this novel justice. From the moment I started reading I was hooked and could not put the book down.
In the prologue, when we first meet David, he is a scared little boy that loves his father. Through that love, and after watching his sole guardian and protector murdered in front of him, David is transformed into a soldier with a singular purpose. When we see David again, in chapter one, he is eighteen and he is a man on a mission; a mission that was shaped by his experience on that day in the bank when a man with super powers killed his father and took control of the city, calling it New-Cago.
The action picks up quickly in this novel and never pauses to let you catch your breath. Soon we are introduced to the beauty in a red dress, Megan who is hiding a deep secret that could shatter David’s reality. At the moment, she is even more of a badass than he is. Proficient in weapons, combat, and brave to boot, not to mention that she is the newest member of the Reckoners, a team that David hopes to join; a team that makes it their business to kill men with super powers – called Epics. She is a dream come true for David.
After taking down their first Epic together, David meets the rest of the team and proves that his value to the team is worth his weight in gold, or, rather the information that he has obtained throughout his life is worth his weight in gold. Perhaps the information he has gathered in his notebooks is priceless when you were in the business that the Reckoners were in, the business of killing Epics, and business was good.
Corny and cliché as it was I could not help myself, this book is a one of a kind and puts an interesting twist on what it would be like if regular people one day obtained god-like super powers. Brandon Sanderson does not disappoint as he builds this action packed thriller to its climax: defeating Steelheart.

Review written by: Andre Alan